About this weblog

What you need to know: This weblog captures key data points about the global telecoms industry. I use it as an electronic notebook to support my work for Pringle Media.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Apple Fans Flock to iPhone 4

Apple said it sold more than 1.7 million iPhone 4 units in the first three days after the handset was launched.  “This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

iPhone 4 is available in the US for 199 US dollars for the 16GB model and 299 dollars for the 32GB model with a two-year AT&T contract. It is also available in the UK, France, Germany and Japan and Apple says the handset will be available in an additional 18 countries by the end of July—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. source: Apple statement

Investment bank Piper Jaffray estimates that 77 percent of those who purchased the iPhone 4 were upgrading from a previous iPhone model, according to Mobile Business Briefing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

RIM Forecasts Faster Growth

Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry, said that it expects revenue in the quarter ending August 28 to be between 4.4 and 4.6 billion US dollars, which would be an increase of between 25% and 30% from the equivalent quarter in 2009.

RIM said that revenues in the quarter ending May 29 grew 24% year-on-year to 4.24 billion dollars, as unit shipments of Blackberries rose 43% to 11.2 million. RIM said that 79% of its revenues in the quarter came from device sales, 16% from services and 2% from software. RIM said it added 4.9 million net new BlackBerry subscriber accounts in the quarter taking its total base to 46 million. source: RIM statement

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nokia Struggles to Get Back to Growth

Nokia said this week that it expects net sales in its devices and services division to be at the lower end of, or slightly below, its previous forecast of 6.7 billion to 7.2 billion euros in the second quarter. Nokia said that the competitive environment, particularly at the high-end of the market, and currency movements meant its average selling price and shipments will both be lower than it had expected.

If Nokia's devices and services sales are 6.7 billion euros in the quarter, that would be an increase of just 2% on the division's sales in the second quarter of 2009.

Nokia said it now expects its share of the global mobile device market, by value, to be slightly lower in 2010, than in 2009. The Finland-based company continues to expect industry mobile device volumes to be up approximately 10% in 2010 and its market share by volume to be flat compared with 2009. source: Nokia statement

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kick-starting Industry Growth - Tuning into the future of telecoms

Television is becoming increasingly fundamental to the future of the telecoms industry, according to senior executives gathered in London this week for an A.T. Kearney telecoms and media conference.

“TV is the element around which you bundle the rest and anchor the bundle,” said Michael Hecker, Chief Strategy Officer of multinational telecoms company MTS. “That is why Google is going into television. One of the biggest challenges is for [telecoms] operators not to lose the TV battle.” Bundling television and telecoms into one package will keep customers from switching to other telecoms providers, Hecker added, noting that the churn rate among MTS’s “a couple of million TV customers” is extremely low.

BT, the UK-based telecoms group, has also put television at the forefront of its strategy, Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT’s Retail division, told the conference. Although Patterson said that BT Vision, its on-demand television service, has so far only attracted half a million customers, the typical customer is accessing it forty times a month, rivalling the UK’s major free-to-air networks BBC1 and ITV1. Over time, BT intends to deliver high-definition and, eventually, 3D television-on-demand. To read more: click here

The Case for Global Scale - To be or not to be global

To what extent can multinational telecoms companies, such as Vodafone, match the global economies of scale achieved by companies in other high-tech sectors, such as Google, Apple, Nokia and Microsoft? This was one of the key questions debated by senior executives at the 11th Telecoms and Media Conference hosted by management consultants A.T. Kearney in London this week.

Most speakers agreed that more cross-border consolidation is inevitable, but there was some disagreement over whether multinationals have a major competitive advantage. “Multinationals will make up almost all of the European telecoms market by 2020,” Mark Page, the global leader of A.T. Kearney’s Communications, Media & High-Tech practice, told the conference. “But, in too many cases, cross-border M&A activity hasn’t yet translated into improved margins, just higher overheads.”

Fran├žois-Xavier Roger, Chief Financial Officer of multinational mobile operator Millicom International Cellular, went even further: “We don’t value cross-market synergies, we don’t really find any synergies from one market to another.” What really matters, according to Roger, is being the number one or number two player in a specific market. To read more: click here

Emerging Mobile Markets Ripe for Consolidation - Only two or three will survive

The telecoms industry in Africa and the Middle East is set to experience a major wave of mergers and acquisitions, as mobile operators, in particular, seek economies of scale, according to senior executives speaking at a conference hosted by A.T. Kearney in London this week.

“There are too many players in Africa, so there is a strong likelihood of consolidation,” Fran├žois-Xavier Roger, Chief Financial Officer of multinational mobile operator Millicom International Cellular, told the international Telecoms and Media Conference. “If you have a high market share, then you can be sure of a very high EBITDA. We want to be number one or number two in all our markets.”

Tim Lowry, a recent member of pan-African mobile operator MTN’s executive management committee, added: “Africa and the Middle East remind me of Europe in 2000 – there are too many licenses being issued by regulators. So there is going to be a lot of consolidation.” Gert Rieder, CEO of Batelco Bahrain, also predicted fewer players in future, forecasting both in-market and cross-border consolidation. “We have the luxury of being a debt-free company. So we are in a good position to go for large acquisitions in the next few years,” he added. To read more: click here
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